|The Sack Of Jerusalem by the Romans, Heim 1824|
|Study for the Destruction of Jerusalem, Heim, 1824|
Francois-Josef Heim (French 1787-1865) won the Legion of Honour in 1824 for his painting depicting the destruction of Jerusalem (sometimes called "The Massacre of the Jews"). The first image is the completed painting and is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A few blocks away, the study for the painting is held in the collection of the Jewish Museum, the second image below it.
When tragedy is too enormous to absorb, the human mind can best comprehend an individual story on its own. Here, the artist, with Jerusalem burning as a backdrop, chooses to concentrate on a single episode. We see the confrontation as a mother pleas for her life and the life of her child as the axe-wielding Roman soldier looms above her from his horse. Heim shows just one piece within the larger conflagration taking place around her.